BBC says N. Korea detains and expels reporter

Agence France-Presse
BBC says N. Korea detains and expels reporter
Rupert Wingfield-Hayes was questioned alone for 8 hours

SEOUL, South Korea – A BBC reporter in North Korea was detained and ordered expelled from the country over his reporting in the run-up to a rare ruling party congress, the British broadcaster said Monday.

The reporter, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, was detained on Friday at Pyongyang airport as he was leaving the country with two other BBC staff, the BBC said on its website.

He was then questioned alone for 8 hours, it added.

“The team have now been taken to the airport,” it said.

China’s official Xinhua news agency, which has a bureau in Pyongyang, said the North’s National Peace Committee had held a press conference Monday saying Wingfield-Hayes had been expelled for “attacking the DPRK system and non-objective reporting.”

The DPRK is North Korea’s official acronym.

The three-person BBC team was in North Korea ahead of the party congress that began Friday, accompanying a delegation of Nobel prize laureates conducting a research trip. –

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